Publications by authors named "Christopher J Secombes"

181 Publications

Montanide™ ISA 763A VG and ISA 761 VG induce different immune pathway responses in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) when used as adjuvant for an Aeromonas salmonicida bacterin.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre,School of Biological Sciences,University of Aberdeen,Tillydrone Avenue,Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ,UK. Electronic address:

Adjuvants are the helper substances that increase vaccine efficacy by enhancing the potency and longevity of specific immune responses to antigens. Most existing fish vaccines are presented in the form of oil-based emulsions delivered by intraperitoneal injection. The characterization of their mode of action is a valuable aid to future vaccine development, particularly for the potential identification and stimulation of specific immunological pathways related to the desired protective response. This study characterized the expression of selected immune-related genes in the peritoneal cavity, head kidney and spleen following the administration of two adjuvanted-bacterial vaccines thought to induce humoral (Montanide™ ISA 763A VG) or humoral and cell mediated (Montanide™ ISA 761 VG) immune responses, to determine if differences in responsiveness are readily apparent. The most informative site was the spleen, where Montanide™ ISA 763A VG + bacterin gave rise to upregulation of genes driving T-cell/lymphoid responses, namely IL-2, IL-15 and IL-21. This combined with upregulation of IFNγ1 and IFNγ2, IL-4/13B2, p35A1 and p40 (B1 and C) indicated that the induction of Th1 and possibly Th2 immunity was occurring in fish vaccinated with this adjuvant. Perhaps the most intriguing finding was the lack of a detectable Th1 response in fish given Montanide™ ISA 761 VG + bacterin, suggesting some other arm of the immune system is activated to give protection. Whatever the reason for the different responses detected, it is clear from the present study that the adjuvant used has a major impact on the responses elicited. Since these differences are readily detectable it allows, in principle, their use to help select the most appropriate adjuvants for inclusion into fish vaccines, where the type of response elicited may need to be tailored to a particular pathogen to confer protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2021.04.024DOI Listing
April 2021

In vitro evaluation of novel (nanoparticle) oral delivery systems allow selection of gut immunomodulatory formulations.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2021 Jun 18;113:125-138. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, Scotland, UK. Electronic address:

Oral delivery is the most convenient way to vaccinate cultured fish, however it is still problematic, primarily due to a lack of a commercially valid vaccine vehicle to protect the antigen against gastric degradation and ensure its uptake from the intestine. With the goal of advancing the potential to vaccinate orally, this study evaluates a novel silicon nanoparticle-based vehicle (VacSaf carrier). Aeromonas salmonicida antigens were formulated with the VacSaf carrier using different preparation methods to generate dry powder and liquid formulations. Twelve formulations were first subjected to an in vitro evaluation where the A. salmonicida bacterin conjugated to VacSaf carriers were found superior at inducing pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in primary leucocyte cultures and the macrophage/monocyte cell line RTS-11 compared with A. salmonicida bacterin alone. This was especially apparent after exposure to acid conditions to mimic stomach processing. One formulation (FD1) was taken forward to oral delivery using two doses and two administration schedules (5 days vs 10 days, the latter 5 days on, 5 days off, 5 days on), and the transcript changes of immune genes in the intestine (pyloric caeca, midgut and hindgut) and spleen were evaluated by qPCR and serum IgM was measured by ELISA. The VacSaf carrier alone was shown to be safe for use in vivo, in that no side-effects were seen, but it did induce expression of some cytokines, and may have value as an oral adjuvant candidate. The FD1 bacterin formulation was effective at inducing a range of cytokines associated with innate and adaptive immunity, mainly in the pyloric caeca, compared to A. salmonicida bacterin alone (which had almost no effect), and confirms the immune competence of this gut region following appropriate oral vaccination. These results reveal that in vitro screening of formulations for oral delivery has value and can be used to assess the most promising formulations to test further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2021.03.007DOI Listing
June 2021

Comparative transcriptomics and host-specific parasite gene expression profiles inform on drivers of proliferative kidney disease.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 25;11(1):2149. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK.

The myxozoan parasite, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae has a two-host life cycle alternating between freshwater bryozoans and salmonid fish. Infected fish can develop Proliferative Kidney Disease, characterised by a gross lymphoid-driven kidney pathology in wild and farmed salmonids. To facilitate an in-depth understanding of T. bryosalmonae-host interactions, we have used a two-host parasite transcriptome sequencing approach in generating two parasite transcriptome assemblies; the first derived from parasite spore sacs isolated from infected bryozoans and the second from infected fish kidney tissues. This approach was adopted to minimize host contamination in the absence of a complete T. bryosalmonae genome. Parasite contigs common to both infected hosts (the intersect transcriptome; 7362 contigs) were typically AT-rich (60-75% AT). 5432 contigs within the intersect were annotated. 1930 unannotated contigs encoded for unknown transcripts. We have focused on transcripts encoding proteins involved in; nutrient acquisition, host-parasite interactions, development, cell-to-cell communication and proteins of unknown function, establishing their potential importance in each host by RT-qPCR. Host-specific expression profiles were evident, particularly in transcripts encoding proteases and proteins involved in lipid metabolism, cell adhesion, and development. We confirm for the first time the presence of homeobox proteins and a frizzled homologue in myxozoan parasites. The novel insights into myxozoan biology that this study reveals will help to focus research in developing future disease control strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77881-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835236PMC
January 2021

Development of a 3D spheroid cell culture system from fish cell lines for in vitro infection studies: Evaluation with Saprolegnia parasitica.

J Fish Dis 2021 Jan 12. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.

Understanding the ways in which pathogens infect host cells is essential to improve and develop new treatment strategies. This study aimed to generate a novel in vitro infection model by establishing a reproducible 3D spheroid cell culture system that may lead to a reduced need for animals in fish disease research. 2D models (commonly cell lines) cannot replicate many key conditions of in vivo infections, but 3D spheroids have the potential to provide bridging technology between in vivo and in vitro systems. 3D spheroids were generated using cells from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) cell lines, RTG-2 and RTS-11. The RTG-2 spheroids were tested for their potential to be infected upon exposure to Saprolegnia parasitica spores. Positive infiltration of mycelia into the spheroids was verified by confocal microscopy. As a closer analogue of in vivo conditions encountered during infection, the straightforward model developed in this study shows promise as an additional tool that can be used to further our understanding of host-pathogen interactions for Saprolegnia and possibly a variety of other fish pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13331DOI Listing
January 2021

Revisiting the Teleost Thymus: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives.

Biology (Basel) 2020 Dec 25;10(1). Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Laboratory of Immunology, Center of Aquatic Biotechnology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry and Biology, University of Santiago of Chile, Av. Bernardo O'Higgins, Estación Central, Santiago 3363, Chile.

The thymus in vertebrates plays a critical role in producing functionally competent T-lymphocytes. Phylogenetically, the thymus emerges early during evolution in jawed cartilaginous fish, and it is usually a bilateral organ placed subcutaneously at the dorsal commissure of the operculum. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the thymus localization, histology studies, cell composition, and function in teleost fishes. Furthermore, we consider environmental factors that affect thymus development, such as seasonal changes, photoperiod, water temperature fluctuations and hormones. Further analysis of the thymus cell distribution and function will help us understand how key stages for developing functional T cells occur in fish, and how thymus dynamics can be modulated by external factors like photoperiod. Overall, the information presented here helps identify the knowledge gaps and future steps needed for a better understanding of the immunobiology of fish thymus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10010008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824517PMC
December 2020

Ancient Cytokine Interleukin 15-Like (IL-15L) Induces a Type 2 Immune Response.

Front Immunol 2020 29;11:549319. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Japan.

Related interleukin-2, -15, and -15-like (IL-2, -15, and -15L) are ancient cytokines, with all three genes surviving in extant fish and some mammals. The present study is the first to identify IL-15L functions, namely in rainbow trout. In isolated trout splenocytes, and , purified recombinant IL-15L+IL-15Rα molecules induced expression of and homologs, which are markers of type 2 immunity. In contrast, trout IL-15 stimulated type 1 immunity markers, thus IL-15 and IL-15L can have opposing functions. Trout IL-15L was more dependent on "in " presentation by the receptor chain IL-15Rα than IL-15, and stimulated CD4CD8(IgM) lymphocytes from thymus and spleen. We propose an important role for IL-15L early in the type 2 immunity cytokine cascade. Trout IL-2 and IL-15 exhibited features reminiscent of their mechanistic and functional dichotomy observed in mammals; for example, IL-15 but not IL-2 required a receptor alpha chain (only IL-15Rα in the case of fish) for its stability, and only IL-15 was efficient in stimulating lymphocytes from mucosal tissues. Data suggest that IL-15L and IL-15 may be particularly effective in stimulating innate lymphocyte type 2 cells (ILC2) and natural killer (NK) cells, respectively, but further identification of the cell types is needed. An interesting finding different from in mammals was the efficient stimulation of CD4CD8 thymocytes by IL-2. In short, this study presents fundamental information on the evolution of the IL-2/15/15L cytokine family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.549319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7658486PMC
October 2020

Modulation of local and systemic immune responses in brown trout (Salmo trutta) following exposure to Myxobolus cerebralis.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020 Nov 3;106:844-851. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Clinical Division of Fish Medicine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Myxobolus cerebralis, the etiological agent of Whirling Disease (WD), is a freshwater myxozoan parasite with considerable economic and ecological relevance for salmonids. There are differences in disease susceptibility between species and strains of salmonids. Recently, we have reported that the suppressor of cytokine signaling SOCS1 and SOCS3 are key in modulating rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) immune responses and that resistant fish apparently exhibit effective Th17 cell response after exposure to M. cerebralis. It is unclear whether such molecules and pathways are also involved in the immune response of M. cerebralis infected brown trout (Salmo trutta). Hence, this study aimed to explore their role during immune modulation in infected brown trout, which is considered resistant to this parasite. Fish were exposed to the triactinomyxon (TAM) stages of M. cerebralis and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) was carried out to examine local (caudal fin) and systemic (head kidney, spleen) immune transcriptional changes associated with WD over time in infected and control fish. All of the immune genes in the three tissues studied were differentially expressed in infected fish at multiple time points. Brown trout reduced the parasite load and demonstrated effective immune responses, likely by keeping pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in balance whilst stimulating efficient Th17-mediated immunity. This study increases knowledge on the brown trout immune response to M. cerebralis and helps us to understand the underlying mechanisms of WD resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2020.09.003DOI Listing
November 2020

Atlantic salmon kidney (ASK) cells are an effective model to characterise interferon (IFN) and IFN-induced gene expression following salmonid alphavirus infection.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020 Nov 29;106:792-795. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Dept Microbiology & Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology, Baltimore, USA. Electronic address:

Salmonid alphavirus (SAV), the causative agent of pancreas disease, is a serious pathogen of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Given the economic impact of SAV outbreaks, much effort is focussed upon understanding the fish immune response following infection and the exploitation of this knowledge to reduce disease impact. Herein we examine the utility of the long-term Atlantic salmon kidney (ASK) cell line as a tool to study antiviral responses upon infection with SAV. Following infection with SAV subtype 1 (isolate V4640) we examined the kinetics and magnitude of induction of IFNa, IFN-regulatory factor (IRF) genes IRF1, IRF3, and IRF7b, as well as the antiviral effector Mx by RT-qPCR. SAV-1 non-structural protein (nsp1) transcript levels increased continuously over the experimental period, indicating viral replication, but cytopathic effect (CPE) was not observed. All the immune genes studied showed an increase in transcript levels over the 96-h study period following SAV infection, with strongest induction of Mx. Our data confirm that ASK cells are a suitable model to study the virus-associated immune responses of salmonids and may be a useful tool when assaying the effectiveness of potential prophylactic or antiviral treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2020.08.043DOI Listing
November 2020

Type I Interferon Regulates the Survival and Functionality of B Cells in Rainbow Trout.

Front Immunol 2020 9;11:1494. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Animal Health Research Center (CISA-INIA), Madrid, Spain.

Interferons (IFNs) orchestrate antiviral responses in jawed vertebrates and can be classified into three types based on different aspects of their genomic organization, structure and receptors through which they signal and function. Generally, type I and type III IFNs include cytokines that directly induce an antiviral response, whereas type II IFNs are well-known for their immunomodulatory role during viral infections. In mammals, type I IFNs have been shown to also regulate many aspects of B cell development and differentiation. Yet, these functions have been only faintly investigated for teleost IFNs. Thus, in the current study, we have examined the effects of a model type I rainbow trout IFN molecule (IFNa) on blood naïve (IgMIgD) B cells, comparing them to those exerted by type II IFN (IFNγ). Our results demonstrate that IFNa increases the survival of naïve rainbow trout B cells, in the absence of lymphoproliferative effects, by rescuing them from spontaneous apoptosis. Additionally, IFNa increased the phagocytic capacity of blood IgMIgD B cells and augmented the number of IgM-secreting cells in blood leukocyte cultures. IFNγ, on the other hand, had only minor effects up-regulating IgM secretion, whereas it increased the phagocytic capacity of IgM cells in the cultures. Finally, given the recent identification of 9 genes in rainbow trout, we have also established which of these genes were transcriptionally regulated in blood naïve B cells in response to IFNa. This study points to a previously undescribed role for teleost type I IFNs in the regulation of B cell responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363951PMC
May 2021

Effective isolation of GALT cells: Insights into the intestine immune response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to different bacterin vaccine preparations.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020 Oct 29;105:378-392. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Electronic address:

The teleost gut is a multifunction complex structure that plays a pivotal immunological role in homeostasis and the maintenance of health, in addition to digestion of food and/or nutrient absorption. In vitro examination of the intestine leucocyte repertoire has the potential to aid our understanding of gut immune competence and allows a rapid screen of host-microorganism interactions in different immunological contexts. To explore this possibility, in the present study we investigated the response of isolated gut leucocytes to 4 bacterins of Aeromonas salmonicida, prepared from different strains, combinations and strains grown in different environments, in comparison to a Yersinia ruckeri bacterin for which a commercial/effective oral booster vaccine has been developed. To aid this study we also optimized further our method of GALT cell isolation from rainbow trout, so as to avoid mechanical clearance of the intestine contents. This drastically increased the cell yield from ~12 × 10 to ~210 × 10/fish with no change in the percent cell viability over time or presence of transcripts typical of the key leucocyte types needed for the study of immune modulation (i.e. T- and B-cells, dendritic cells and macrophages). A wide array of immune transcripts were modulated by the bacterins, demonstrating the diversity of GALT cell responses to bacterial stimulation. Indeed, the GALT leucocyte responses were sensitive enough to distinguish the different bacterial species, strains and membrane proteins, as seen by distinct kinetics of immune gene expression. However, the response of the GALT cells was often relatively slow and of a low magnitude compared to those of PBL. These results enhance our knowledge of the gut biocapacity and help validate the use of this model for screening of oral vaccine candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2020.06.051DOI Listing
October 2020

STAT3/SOCS3 axis contributes to the outcome of salmonid whirling disease.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(6):e0234479. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Clinical Division of Fish Medicine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

There are differences in disease susceptibility to whirling disease (WD) among strains of rainbow trout. The North American strain Trout Lodge (TL) is highly susceptible, whereas the German Hofer (HO) strain is more resistant. The suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins are key in inhibiting cytokine signaling. Their role in modulating the immune response against whirling disease is not completely clear. This study aimed at investigating the transcriptional response of SOCS1 and SOCS3 genes to Myxobolus cerebralis along with that of several upstream regulators and immune response genes. M. cerebralis induced the expression of SOCS1, the IL-6-dependent SOCS3, the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and the Treg associated transcription factor FOXP3 in TL fish at multiple time points, which likely caused a restricted STAT1 and STAT3 activity affecting the Th17/Treg17 balance. The expression of SOCS1 and the IL-6-dependent SOCS3 was induced constraining the activation of STAT1 and STAT3 in TL fish, thereby causing Th17/Treg17 imbalance and leaving the fish unable to establish a protective immune response against M. cerebralis or control inflammatory reactions increasing susceptibility to WD. Conversely, in HO fish, the expression of SOCS1 and SOCS3 was restrained, whereas the expression of STAT1 and IL-23-mediated STAT3 was induced potentially enabling more controlled immune responses, accelerating parasite clearance and elevating resistance. The induced expression of STAT1 and IL-23-mediated STAT3 likely maintained a successful Th17/Treg17 balance and enabled fish to promote effective immune responses favouring resistance against WD. The results provide insights into the role of SOCS1 and SOCS3 in regulating the activation and magnitude of host immunity in rainbow trout, which may help us understand the mechanisms that underlie the variation in resistance to WD.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234479PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295227PMC
August 2020

Distinct modes of action of CD40L and adaptive cytokines IL-2, IL-4/13, IL-10 and IL-21 on rainbow trout IgM B cells.

Dev Comp Immunol 2020 10 22;111:103752. Epub 2020 May 22.

Animal Health Research Center (CISA-INIA), Valdeolmos, 28130, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

In mammals, conventional B (B2) cells are activated within lymphoid follicles through a close relationship with T follicular helper (Tfh) cells. The interaction between CD40 expressed on B cells and its ligand (CD40L) expressed on Tfh cells is a key signal that regulates the formation of germinal centers (GCs), B cell survival, proliferation and differentiation to plasma cells (PCs) or memory cells. Additionally, certain soluble cytokines produced by T cells also strongly condition the outcome of this interaction. Despite the many differences found between fish B cells and mammalian B2 cells, and the lack of conventional GCs, rainbow trout IgM B cells have been shown to be stimulated by CD40L, however, whether cytokines commonly produced by T cells can further modulate this response has never been addressed to date. Thus, in this study, we determined the effects of recombinant rainbow trout adaptive cytokines interleukin 2B (IL-2B), IL-4/13A, IL-4/13B, IL-10 and IL-21 (cytokines known to activate B cells in mammals) on splenic IgM B cells alone or in combination with CD40L. We studied how these cytokines and CD40L cooperated to promote IgM B cell survival, proliferation and IgM secretion. The results obtained provide valuable information for the first time in teleost fish on how different T cell signals cooperate to activate B cells in the absence of GCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2020.103752DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7397517PMC
October 2020

A portrait of the immune response to proliferative kidney disease (PKD) in rainbow trout.

Parasite Immunol 2020 08 31;42(8):e12730. Epub 2020 May 31.

Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (CISA-INIA), Madrid, Spain.

Proliferative kidney disease (PKD), caused by the myxozoan Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, is one of the most serious parasitic diseases of salmonids in which outbreaks cause severe economic constraints for the aquaculture industry and declines of wild species throughout Europe and North America. Given that rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is one of the most widely farmed freshwater fish and an important model species for fish immunology, most of the knowledge on how the fish immune response is affected during PKD is from this organism. Once rainbow trout are infected, PKD pathogenesis results in a chronic kidney immunopathology mediated by decreasing myeloid cells and increasing lymphocytes. Transcriptional studies have revealed the regulation of essential genes related to T-helper (Th)-like functions and a dysregulated B-cell antibody type response. Recent reports have discovered unique details of teleost B-cell differentiation and functionality and characterized the differential immunoglobulin (Ig)-mediated response. These studies have solidified the rainbow trout T. bryosalmonae system as a sophisticated disease model capable of feeding key advances into mainstream immunology and have contributed essential information to design novel parasite disease prevention strategies. In our following perspective, we summarize these efforts to evaluate the immune mechanisms of rainbow trout during PKD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pim.12730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7507176PMC
August 2020

Evolution of IFN subgroups in bony fish - 2. analysis of subgroup appearance and expansion in teleost fish with a focus on salmonids.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020 Mar 27;98:564-573. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, Scotland, UK. Electronic address:

A relatively large repertoire of type I interferon (IFN) genes is apparent in rainbow trout/Atlantic salmon, that includes six different IFN subgroups (IFNa-IFNf) belonging to the three known type I IFN groups (1-3) in bony fish. Whether this is true for other salmonids, and how the various type I subgroups evolved in teleost fish was studied using the extensive genomic resources available for fish. This confirmed that salmonids, at least the Salmoninae, indeed have a complex (in terms of IFN subgroups present) and large (number of genes) IFN repertoire relative to other teleost fish. This is in part a consequence of the salmonid 4 R WGD that duplicated the growth hormone (GH) locus in which type I IFNs are generally located. Divergence of the IFN genes at the two GH loci was apparent but was not seen in common carp, a species that also underwent an independent 4 R WGD. However, expansion of IFN gene number can be found at the CD79b locus of some perciform fish (both freshwater and marine), with expansion of the IFNd gene repertoire. Curiously the primordial gene order of GH-IFNc-IFNb-IFNa-IFNe is largely retained in many teleost lineages and likely reflects the tandem duplications that are taking place to increase IFN gene number. With respect to the evolution of the IFN subgroups, a complex acquisition and/or loss has occurred in different teleost lineages, with complete loss of IFN genes at the GH or CD79b locus in some species, and reduction to a single IFN subgroup in others. It becomes clear that there are many variations to be discovered regarding the mechanisms by which fish elicit protective (antiviral) immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2020.01.039DOI Listing
March 2020

Identification, molecular characterization and functional analysis of interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-2like (IL-2L) cytokines in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.).

Cytokine 2020 02 6;126:154898. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK.

In mammals, interleukin (IL)-2, initially known as a T-cell grow factor, is an immunomodulatory cytokine involved in the proliferation of T cells upon antigen activation. In bony fish, some IL-2 orthologs have been identified, but, recently, an additional IL-2like (IL-2L) gene has been found. In this paper, we report the presence of these two divergent IL-2 isoforms in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.). Genomic analyses revealed that they originated from a gene duplication event, as happened in most percomorphs. These two IL-2 paralogs show differences in the amino acid sequence and in the exon 4 size, and these features could be an indication that they bind preferentially to different specific IL-2 receptors. Sea bass IL-2 paralogs are highly expressed in gut and spleen, which are tissues and organs involved in fish T cell immune functions, and the two cytokines could be up-regulated by both PHA stimulation and vaccination with a bacterial vaccine, with IL-2L being more inducible. To investigate the functional activities of sea bass IL-2 and IL-2L we produced the corresponding recombinant molecules in E. coli and used them to in vitro stimulate HK and spleen leukocytes. IL-2L is able to up-regulate the expression of markers related to different T cell subsets (Th1, Th2 and Th17) and to Treg cells in HK, whereas it has little effect in spleen. IL-2 is not active on these markers in HK, but shows an effect on Th1 markers in spleen. Finally, the stimulation with recombinant IL-2 and IL-2L is also able to induce in vitro proliferation of HK- and spleen-derived leukocytes. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that sea bass possess two IL-2 paralogs that likely have an important role in regulating T cell development in this species and that show distinct bioactivities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cyto.2019.154898DOI Listing
February 2020

Evolution of IFN subgroups in bony fish - 1:Group I-III IFN exist in early ray-finned fish, with group II IFN subgroups present in the Holostean spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Dec 15;95:163-170. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, Scotland, UK; Key Laboratory of Exploration and Utilization of Aquatic Genetic Resources, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, 201306, China; Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China. Electronic address:

The present study helps clarify when the fish type I IFN groups/subgroups evolved, by examination of the IFN genes present in the Holostean spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus, in relation to the IFN genes present in the Chondrostea (sturgeon). It confirms that all three IFN groups (I-III), and group II subgroups, existed prior to the appearance of teleost fish. Preliminary expression analysis in a gar cell line (GARL) suggests these IFN genes will have a role in antiviral defence in Holostean fish, in that they are induced by poly(I:C). A refined model of IFN evolution within the actinopterygian fish is proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.10.032DOI Listing
December 2019

Gene expression analysis of the innate immune system during early rearing and weaning of meagre (Argyrosomus regius).

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Nov 6;94:819-832. Epub 2019 Oct 6.

IRTA, San Carlos de La Rápita, 43540, Tarragona, Spain. Electronic address:

The present study is the first report of some representative innate immune genes in meagre (Argyrosomus regius) larvae. This study has specifically focused on the growth period from hatching to the juvenile stage, a critical time in marine fish development when reliance on innate immune mechanisms are required for survival. We report molecular cloning of partial open reading frames and expression patterns for some innate immune genes (c3, cox2, met, lyzc, mxp, myd88, nod2, nod3). In addition, phylogenetic analyses of some of the sequences obtained was performed where confusion among closely allied isoforms may have existed. These results show the met isoform from meagre is met II, an isoform more similar to a homolog described in Larimichthys crocea; lysozyme (lyzc) corresponds to the c-type and NOD isoforms (nod2, nod3) separate into different clades confirming their distinctness within a common evolutionary history. Gene expression profiles of innate genes were investigated, for nine developmental stages, from 8 days post-hatching (dph) to 120 dph. Present results demonstrated that c3, cox2, met II, lyzc, mxp, myd88, nod2, and nod3 were expressed in all stages of larval development and displayed distinct expression profiles in separate tissues (kidney, spleen gut and gill). Moreover, expression patterns suggested theses innate immune genes may be influenced by feeding practices, i.e. switching from live prey (rotifer and Artemia) and weaning onto an inert commercial diet. In addition to evaluating changes in gene expression during early development, this study evaluated the modulation of gene expression by means of in vivo trials in juveniles that were stimulated with PAMPs (LPS, poly I:C, β-glucan). These results revealed significant changes in mRNA levels of target genes in the kidney, spleen, gut and gills. However, expression profiles differed in magnitude depending on the stimulant and/or tissue. These results are discussed in terms of their relevance and potential application in aquaculture practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.10.009DOI Listing
November 2019

Expansion of fish CCL20_like chemokines by genome and local gene duplication: Characterisation and expression analysis of 10 CCL20_like chemokines in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Dev Comp Immunol 2020 02 27;103:103502. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Mammalian CCL20, or macrophage inflammatory protein-3α, can function as a homeostatic and inflammatory chemokine. In relation to the latter, it is responsible for the chemoattraction of lymphocytes and dendritic cells to mucosal immune sites under inflammatory and pathological conditions. CK1, CK8A and CK8B are rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) CC chemokines that were reported previously to be phylogenetically related to mammalian CCL20. In the current study, an additional seven CCL20_L paralogues in rainbow trout are reported, that are divided into three subgroups and have been designated here as: CCL20_L1a (also referred to as CK1), CCL20_L1b1-2, CCL20_L2a (CK8A), CCL20_L2b (CK8B), CCL20_L3a, and CCL20_L3b1-4. Multiple CCL20_L genes were also identified in other salmonids that arose from both whole genome duplication and local gene duplication. Phylogenetic tree, homology and synteny analysis support that CCL20_L1-3 found in salmonids are also present in most teleosts arose from the 3 R whole genome duplication and in some species, local gene duplication. Like mammalian CCL20, rainbow trout CCL20_L molecules possess a high positive net charge with a pI of 9.34-10.16, that is reported to be important for antimicrobial activity. Rainbow trout CCL20_L paralogues are differentially expressed and in general highly expressed in mucosal tissues, such as gills, thymus and intestine. The expression levels of rainbow trout CCL20_L paralogues are increased during development and following PAMP/cytokine stimulation. For example, in RTS-11 cells CCL20_L3b1 and CCL20_L3b2 are highly up-regulated by LPS, Poly I:C, recombinant(r) IFNa and rIL-1β. Trout CCL20_L paralogues are also increased after Yersinia ruckeri infection or Poly I:C stimulation in vivo, with CCL20_L3b1 and CCL20_L3b2 again highly up-regulated. Overall, this is the first report of the complete CCL20 chemokine subfamily in rainbow trout, and the analysis of their expression and modulation in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that teleosts possess divergent CCL20_L molecules that may have important roles in anti-viral/anti-bacterial defence and in mucosal immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2019.103502DOI Listing
February 2020

Distinct response of immune gene expression in peripheral blood leucocytes modulated by bacterin vaccine candidates in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: A potential in vitro screening and batch testing system for vaccine development in aquaculture.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Oct 1;93:631-640. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Electronic address:

Fish aquaculture is the world's fastest growing food production industry and infectious diseases are a major limiting factor. Vaccination is the most appropriate method for controlling infectious diseases and a key reason for the success of salmonid cultivation and has reduced the use of antibiotics. The development of fish vaccines requires the use of a great number of experimental animals that are challenged with virulent pathogens. In vitro cell culture systems have the potential to replace in vivo pathogen exposure for initial screening and testing of novel vaccine candidates/preparations, and for batch potency and safety tests. PBL contain major immune cells that enable the detection of both innate and adaptive immune responses in vitro. Fish PBL can be easily prepared using a hypotonic method and is the only way to obtain large numbers of immune cells non-lethally. Distinct gene expression profiles of innate and adaptive immunity have been observed between bacterins prepared from different bacterial species, as well as from different strains or culturing conditions of the same bacterial species. Distinct immune pathways are activated by pathogens or vaccines in vivo that can be detected in PBL in vitro. Immune gene expression in PBL after stimulation with vaccine candidates may shed light on the immune pathways involved that lead to vaccine-mediated protection. This study suggests that PBL are a suitable platform for initial screening of vaccine candidates, for evaluation of vaccine-induced immune responses, and a cheap alternative for potency testing to reduce animal use in aquaculture vaccine development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.08.002DOI Listing
October 2019

Discovery of All Three Types in Cartilaginous Fishes Enables Phylogenetic Resolution of the Origins and Evolution of Interferons.

Front Immunol 2019 12;10:1558. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Interferons orchestrate host antiviral responses in jawed vertebrates. They are categorized into three classes; IFN1 and IFN3 are the primary antiviral cytokine lineages, while IFN2 responds to a broader variety of pathogens. The evolutionary relationships within and between these three classes have proven difficult to resolve. Here, we reassess interferon evolution, considering key phylogenetic pitfalls including taxon sampling, alignment quality, model adequacy, and outgroup choice. We reveal that cartilaginous fishes, and hence the jawed vertebrate ancestor, possess(ed) orthologs of all three interferon classes. We show that IFN3 groups sister to IFN1, resolve the origins of the human IFN3 lineages, and find that intronless IFN3s emerged at least three times. IFN2 genes are highly conserved, except for IFN-γ-rel, which we confirm resulted from a teleost-specific duplication. Our analyses show that IFN1 phylogeny is highly sensitive to phylogenetic error. By accounting for this, we describe a new backbone IFN1 phylogeny that implies several IFN1 genes existed in the jawed vertebrate ancestor. One of these is represented by the intronless IFN1s of tetrapods, including mammalian-like repertoires of reptile IFN1s and a subset of amphibian IFN1s, in addition to newly-identified intron-containing shark IFN1 genes. IFN-f, previously only found in teleosts, likely represents another ancestral jawed vertebrate IFN1 family member, suggesting the current classification of fish IFN1s into two groups based on the number of cysteines may need revision. The providence of the remaining fish IFN1s and the coelacanth IFN1s proved difficult to resolve, but they may also be ancestral jawed vertebrate IFN1 lineages. Finally, a large group of amphibian-specific IFN1s falls sister to all other IFN1s and was likely also present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor. Our results verify that intronless IFN1s have evolved multiple times in amphibians and indicate that no one-to-one orthology exists between mammal and reptile IFN1s. Our data also imply that diversification of the multiple IFN1s present in the jawed vertebrate ancestor has occurred through a rapid birth-death process, consistent with functional maintenance over a 450-million-year host-pathogen arms race. In summary, this study reveals a new model of interferon evolution important to our understanding of jawed vertebrate antiviral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6640115PMC
October 2020

Induction of IL-22 protein and IL-22-producing cells in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

Dev Comp Immunol 2019 12 12;101:103449. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre (SFIRC), School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK. Electronic address:

IL-22 is a critical cytokine which is involved in modulating tissue responses during inflammation, and is produced mainly by T cells and innate leucocytes. In mammals, IL-22 is a key component in mucosal defences, tissue repair, epithelial cell survival and proliferation. In teleosts, IL-22 has been cloned and studied in several species, and the transcript is highly expressed in mucosal tissues and induced by pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), suggesting IL-22 also functions as an important component of the innate immune response in fish. To investigate these immune responses further, we have validated and characterised two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which were raised against two different peptide immunogens of salmonid IL-22. Our results show that both mAbs specifically react to their own peptide immunogens and recombinant IL-22, and are able to detect the induction of native protein expression after stimulation. In flow cytometry, an increase in IL-22 positive cells was detected after stimulation in vitro with cytokines and PAMPs and in vivo after bacterial challenge. The immunohistochemistry results showed that IL-22 is highly upregulated in the gills after challenge, both in cells within the gill filaments and in the interbranchial lymphoid tissue. Such results suggest IL-22 may have a role in triggering local antimicrobial defences in fish that may facilitate efficient microbial clearance. Hence monitoring IL-22 producing cells/protein secretion may provide an alternative mean to assess the effectiveness of mucosal vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2019.103449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6873780PMC
December 2019

Effects of temperature on amoebic gill disease development: Does it play a role?

J Fish Dis 2019 Sep 17;42(9):1241-1258. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.

A relationship between increasing water temperature and amoebic gill disease (AGD) prevalence in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) has been noted at fish farms in numerous countries. In Scotland (UK), temperatures above 12°C are considered to be an important risk factor for AGD outbreaks. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test for the presence of an association between temperature and variation in the severity of AGD in Atlantic salmon at 10 and 15°C. The results showed an association between temperature and variation in AGD severity in salmon from analysis of histopathology and Paramoeba perurans load, reflecting an earlier and stronger infection post-amoebae exposure at the higher temperature. While no significant difference between the two temperature treatment groups was found in plasma cortisol levels, both glucose and lactate levels increased when gill pathology was evident at both temperatures. Expression analysis of immune- and stress-related genes showed more modulation in gills than in head kidney, revealing an organ-specific response and an interplay between temperature and infection. In conclusion, temperature may not only affect the host response, but perhaps also favour higher attachment/growth capacity of the amoebae as seen with the earlier and stronger P. perurans infection at 15°C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13047DOI Listing
September 2019

Individual monitoring of immune response in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar following experimental infection with piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV), agent of cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS).

Dev Comp Immunol 2019 10 31;99:103406. Epub 2019 May 31.

Aquaculture and Fish Health, Marine Scotland, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Université Paris-Saclay, Jouy-en-Josas, France. Electronic address:

Piscine myocarditis virus (PCMV) is a double-stranded RNA virus structurally similar to the Totiviridae family. PCMV is the causative agent of cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS), a severe cardiac disease that affects farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). A recent study characterized the host immune response in infected salmon through a transcriptome immune profiling, which confirmed a high regulation of immune and anti-viral genes throughout infection with PCMV. Previously we developed a novel model based on repeated non-lethal blood sampling, enabling the individual monitoring of salmonids during an infection. In the present work, we used this model to describe the host immune response in the blood cells of Atlantic salmon after intramuscular infection with PCMV-containing tissue homogenate over a 77-day period. At the final stage heart samples were also collected to verify the PCMV load, the pathological impact of infection and to compare the transcript profiles to blood. The expression level of a range of key immune genes was determined in the blood and heart samples by real-time PCR. Results indicated selected immune genes (mx, cd8α and γip) were up-regulated in the heart tissue of infected animals at the terminal time point, in comparison to the non-infected fish. When analyzing the blood samples over the course of infection, a significant n up-regulation of mx gene was also observed. The time and number of peaks in the kinetics of expression was different between individuals. The PCMV load and CMS pathology was verified by real-time PCR and histopathology, respectively. No pathogen and no pathology could be detected during the course of the experiment except at the terminal stage (viral load by qPCR and pathology by histology). This study emphasizes the value of non-lethal monitoring for evaluating the health status of fish at early stages of infection and in the absence of clinical signs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2019.103406DOI Listing
October 2019

Different origins of paralogues of salmonid TNR1 and TNFR2: Characterisation and expression analysis of four TNF receptor genes in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

Dev Comp Immunol 2019 10 29;99:103403. Epub 2019 May 29.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Electronic address:

Mammalian TNFR1 and TNFR2 bind TNFα and TNFβ, and provide key communication signals to a variety of cell types during development and immune responses that are crucial for cell survival, proliferation and apoptosis. In teleost fish TNFβ is absent but TNFα has been expanded by the third whole genome duplication (3R WGD) and again by a 4R WGD in some lineages, leading to the four TNFα paralogues known in salmonids. Two paralogues for each of TNFR1 and TNFR2 have been cloned in rainbow trout in this study and are present in other salmonid genomes. Whilst the TNFR2 paralogues were generated via the 4R salmonid WGD, the TNFR1 paralogues arose from a local en bloc duplication. Functional diversification of TNFR paralogues was evidenced by differential gene expression and modulation, upstream ATGs affecting translation, ATTTA motifs in the 3'-UTR regulating mRNA stability, and post-translational modification by N-glycosylation. Trout TNFR are highly expressed in immune tissues/organs, and other tissues, in a gene- and tissue-specific manner. Furthermore, their expression is differentially modulated by PAMPs and cytokines in a cell type- and stimulant-specific manner. Such findings suggest an important role of the TNF/TNFR axis in the immune response and other physiological processes in fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2019.103403DOI Listing
October 2019

Lineage/species-specific expansion of the Mx gene family in teleosts: Differential expression and modulation of nine Mx genes in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Jul 4;90:413-430. Epub 2019 May 4.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Electronic address:

Myxovirus resistance (Mx) proteins are interferon (IFN)-inducible Dynamin-like GTPases, which play an important role in antiviral immunity. Three Mx genes (Mx1-3) have been cloned previously in rainbow trout. In this study, an additional six Mx genes were cloned that reside in four chromosomal loci. Further bioinformatics analysis suggests the presence of three teleost Mx groups (TMG) each with a characteristic gene organisation. Salmonid Mx belong to TMG1 and TMG2. The increased salmonid Mx gene copies are due mainly to local gene duplications that happened before and after salmonid speciation, in a lineage/species specific manner. Trout Mx molecules have been diversified in the loop 1 and 4 regions, and in the nuclear localisation signal in loop 4. The trout Mx genes were shown to be differentially expressed in tissues, with high levels of expression of TMG1 (Mx1-4) in blood and TMG2 (Mx5-9) in intestine. The expression of the majority of the trout Mx genes was induced by poly IC in vitro and in vivo, and increased during development. In addition, induction by antiviral (IFN) and proinflammatory cytokines was studied, and showed that type I IFN, IFNγ and IL-1β can induce Mx gene expression in an Mx gene-, cytokine- and cell line-dependent manner. These results show that salmonids possess a large number Mx genes as well as complex regulatory pathways, which may contribute to their success in an anadromous life style.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.04.303DOI Listing
July 2019

Immune response modulation upon sequential heterogeneous co-infection with Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae and VHSV in brown trout (Salmo trutta).

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 May 21;88:375-390. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. Electronic address:

Simultaneous and sequential infections often occur in wild and farming environments. Despite growing awareness, co-infection studies are still very limited, mainly to a few well-established human models. European salmonids are susceptible to both Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD), an endemic emergent disease caused by the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, and Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS), an OIE notifiable listed disease caused by the Piscine Novirhabdovirus. No information is available as to how their immune system reacts when interacting with heterogeneous infections. A chronic (PKD) + acute (VHS) sequential co-infection model was established to assess if the responses elicited in co-infected fish are modulated, when compared to fish with single infections. Macro- and microscopic lesions were assessed after the challenge, and infection status confirmed by RT-qPCR analysis, enabling the identification of singly-infected and co-infected fish. A typical histophlogosis associated with histozoic extrasporogonic T. bryosalmonae was detected together with acute inflammation, haemorrhaging and necrosis due to the viral infection. The host immune response was measured in terms of key marker genes expression in kidney tissues. During T. bryosalmonae/VHSV-Ia co-infection, modulation of pro-inflammatory and antimicrobial peptide genes was strongly influenced by the viral infection, with a protracted inflammatory status, perhaps representing a negative side effect in these fish. Earlier activation of the cellular and humoral responses was detected in co-infected fish, with a more pronounced upregulation of Th1 and antiviral marker genes. These results reveal that some brown trout immune responses are enhanced or prolonged during PKD/VHS co-infection, relative to single infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.02.032DOI Listing
May 2019

Immunohistochemical examination of immune cells in adipose tissue of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following intraperitoneal vaccination.

Fish Shellfish Immunol 2019 Apr 4;87:559-564. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK. Electronic address:

Mammalian perivisceral adipose has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of the peritoneal immune responses. Recently it has been demonstrated that peritoneal antigens are collected by leukocytes within the visceral adipose mass, and a broad range of immunomodulatory genes are differentially expressed in adipose tissue after intraperitoneal vaccination in rainbow trout. To assess the immune cell component in adipose, immunohistochemical analysis was used to examine B-cell, T-cell and antigen presenting cell (APC) numbers and distribution in rainbow trout adipose tissue 24 and 72 h post vaccination in comparison to control fish. The results of this study support previous work on mammals with omental milky spots in naïve fish found to contain APCs and T-cells which then increased in size, number and complexity following vaccination. It suggests that following peritoneal stimulation the visceral adipose mass in fish likely plays an important role in vaccine antigen uptake and presentation by APCs, as well as subsequent T-cell activation and differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2019.02.001DOI Listing
April 2019

Studies on the Use of Flagellin as an Immunostimulant and Vaccine Adjuvant in Fish Aquaculture.

Front Immunol 2018 9;9:3054. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Immunostimulants and vaccines are important for controlling infectious diseases in fish aquaculture. In this study we assess the potential of flagellin to be used for such purposes in rainbow trout (). A recombinant flagellin from the salmonid pathogen (YRF) has been produced previously by us and shown to be a potent activator of inflammatory cytokines, acute phase proteins and antimicrobial peptides . Here we show that YRF is the most potent inflammatory activator of three bacterial PAMPs (LPS, peptidoglycan and flagellin) tested. The host response to flagellin was next studied . The YRF modulated gene expression was examined in two systemic (spleen and liver) and two mucosa-associated (gills and skin) tissues. YRF injection initiated a transient systemic inflammatory response with key pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, IL-6, and IL-11 etc.) and chemokines (CXCL_F4 and CXCL-8) induced rapidly (by 6 h) but subsiding quickly (by 24 h) in multiple tissues. Consequently, a variety of anti-microbial pathways were activated systemically with heightened expression of acute phase proteins, antimicrobial peptides and complement genes in multiple tissues, which was sustained to 24 h in the liver and mucosal tissues. The Th17 cytokine IL-17A/F1 was also induced in the spleen and liver, and Th2 cytokine IL-4/13 was induced in the liver. However, the anti-inflammatory IL-10 and the Th1 cytokine IFNγ were refractory. A secreted form of TLR5 (TLR5s) was induced by flagellin in all tissues examined whilst the membrane form was refractory, suggesting that TLR5s may function as a negative feedback regulator. Trout liver appeared to be an important organ responding to flagellin stimulation, with marked induction of IL-11, IL-23P19, IL-17C1, SAA, and cathelicidin-2. YRF induced a strong antibody response. These antibodies reacted against the middle domain of YRF and were able to decrease YRF bioactivity. Intact YRF was necessary for its bioactivity, as deletion of the N-terminal, C terminal or middle domain of YRF led to functional loss. This study suggests that flagellin could be a potent immunostimulant and vaccine adjuvant for fish aquaculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.03054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6333709PMC
October 2019

Four selenoprotein P genes exist in salmonids: Analysis of their origin and expression following Se supplementation and bacterial infection.

PLoS One 2018 20;13(12):e0209381. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

The following research was conducted to elucidate the evolution and expression of salmonid selenoprotein P (SelP), a selenoprotein that is unique in having multiple selenocysteine (Sec) residues, following supranutritional selenium supplementation and infection in rainbow trout. We show that in salmonids SelP is present as four paralogues and that the diversification of SelP genes during vertebrate evolution relates to whole genome duplication events. With 17 and 16 selenocysteine residues for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)/Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) SelPa1 and SelPa2 proteins respectively and 1 or 2 (trout or salmon) and 4 or 3 (trout or salmon) selenocysteine residues for salmonid SelPb1 and SelPb2 proteins respectively, this is the highest number of (predicted) multiple selenocysteine containing SelP proteins reported for any vertebrate species to date. To investigate the effects of selenium form on SelP expression we added different concentrations (1 nM- 10 μM) of organic or inorganic selenium to a trout cell line (RTG-2 cells) and analysed changes in mRNA abundance. We next studied the impact of supplementation on the potential modulation of these transcripts by PAMPs and proinflammatory cytokines in RTG-2 and RTS-11 cells. These experiments revealed that selenium type influenced the responses, and that SelP gene subfunctionalisation was apparent. To get an insight into the expression patterns in vivo we conducted a feeding trial with 2 diets differing in selenium content and 5 weeks later challenged the trout with a bacterial pathogen (Aeromonas salmonicida). Four tissues were analysed for SelP paralogue expression. The results show a significant induction of SelPa1 in gills and intestine following infection in selenium supplemented fish and for SelPa2 in gills. SelPb1 was significantly reduced in head kidney of both diet groups following infection, whilst SelPb2 was significantly upregulated in skin of both diet groups post infection. Overall these findings reveal differential expression profiles for the SelPa/SelPb paralogues in trout, influenced by selenium supply, cell type/tissue and stimulant. The increase of multiple Sec containing SelP proteins in salmonids could indicate an enhanced requirement for selenium in this lineage.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209381PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6301783PMC
May 2019

Insights into the Evolution of the Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) Gene Family in Vertebrates.

Mol Biol Evol 2019 02;36(2):393-411

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

The SOCS family are key negative regulators of cytokine and growth factor signaling. Typically, 8-17 SOCS genes are present in vertebrate species with eight known in mammals, classified as type I (SOCS4-7) and type II (CISH and SOCS1-3) SOCS. It was believed that the type II SOCS were expanded through the two rounds of whole genome duplication (1R and 2R WGDs) from a single CISH/SOCS1-3 precursor. Previously, 12 genes were identified in rainbow trout but here we report 15 additional loci are present, and confirm 26 of the genes are expressed, giving rainbow trout the largest SOCS gene repertoire identified to date. The discovery of the additional SOCS genes in trout has led to a novel model of SOCS family evolution, whereby the vertebrate SOCS gene family was derived from CISH/SOCS2, SOCS1/SOCS3, SOCS4/5, SOCS6, and SOCS7 ancestors likely present before the two WGD events. It is also apparent that teleost SOCS2b, SOCS4, and SOCS5b molecules are not true orthologues of mammalian SOCS2, SOCS4, and SOCS5, respectively. The rate of SOCS gene structural changes increased from 2R vertebrates, to 4R rainbow trout, and the genes with structural changes show large differences and low correlation coefficient of expression levels relative to their paralogues, suggesting a role of structural changes in expression and functional diversification. This study has important impacts in the functional prediction and understanding of the SOCS gene family in different vertebrates, and provides a framework for determining how many SOCS genes could be expected in a particular vertebrate species/lineage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msy230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368001PMC
February 2019